Ouch! Sit still Girl! But it hurts! OUCH! I don’t have time for this foolishness! Keep up that crying and I’m going to cut it all off!.....were the words I heard as the comb ripped with one hand and the scissors flailed in the other.
Hair was always an interesting, yet unspoken topic in my house when growing up. After all, I was the one with the kinky, dry, unmanageable follicles of beauty. While my sisters enjoyed the serenity of long, soft, curls and waves of blonde and brunette naturally colored hair.
For the first 6 years of my childhood you could always pick me out of the crowd with my puff of a pony tail all brushed to the top of my head like a crown of shame. Always brushed, never combed. Like the delicate beauty in the outer shell expressed by an egg, my pony puff was simply precious.
Course like that same egg, you’ll never experience its rotten core until the shell is disturbed. As such my pony puff over the years of brushing it in an upward relentless motion intricately formed a spoiled center of knotted, matted tangles which later required my mother to make good on her promise and actually cut it all off.
From that moment on the jealousy of my sister’s tantalizing hair created a longing that could not be tamed.
I remember quite vividly my heinous act of destroying her “Judy” doll with only one rough yank of the pony tail. A sense of relief filled my body when “Judy” was envied no more.
As an adult my mind wanders to think what were Ideal toys trying to do? Secretly destroy the self-esteem of young girls everywhere? Creating a doll that allowed you to pull her hair out from the center making it long and ‘acceptable’, and then upon applying great pressure it would crank to a short up do with the lever located in her lower back. (Ironically, a place which experiences great pain for many)
All the teasing my sister would inflict as she shortened Judy’s hair exclaiming what a “Baldwinka” she was, like me. But within moments a pull of the center and wallah! Judy’s hair was down her back once again mimicked by my sister’s equally lengthy locks.
How dare my sister cry when I eliminated that damn pony tail! After all, I just wanted Judy to look like me. Permanently . Why in the hell was that something to cry about?
As the years passed, I found products to straighten my hair and give the appearance of length, so that I could somewhat compete with my long haired siblings. But with each processing of such perms my hair became damaged and weak forcing me to abruptly cut it all off and begin again. The re-growth process took about a year. And so became my yearly hair mantra.
For me hair was nothing more than a pain. Though I would cut it off, at some point it came right back.
In my child like mind; I thought my sister’s tears over the loss of Judy’s pony tail were directed at me. When the truth was the pony tail validated what I later learned my sister felt was her limp, plain basic blonde hair. In her eyes it was my kinky, exotic, bushy hair that she desired.
During my adulthood I have finally put the power of the strand to rest and am quite content with investing my money in the purchase of someone else’s hair. Hair that I am free to color, cut, blow and burn.
This hair would be void of worry and pain until the money runs out.
Sadly, that very thought induces the exact pain experienced in the beginning of my saga --- OUCH!